Primary Care: A Place to Address Physical and Mental Health
- Posted on: Aug 2 2019
Summit Healthcare has made it possible for you to seek help with mental health issues in the same office where you have your annual wellness exam.
We’ve all experienced stress related to relationships, work, finances, caregiving, and a variety of other situations in our lives. For those times when stress becomes overwhelming, Summit Healthcare’s five behavioral health consultants can help you or your loved ones learn how to cope.
Our behavioral health consultants see patients in primary care offices, and any patient can ask a primary care provider for a referral. Our consultants work in 13 Summit Healthcare outpatient clinics throughout northeastern Arizona.
“During a patient’s first appointment, a behavioral health consultant performs an initial assessment and creates an action plan so the patient can start addressing his or her issue,” says Ivy Loney, DBH, LMSW, Director of Integrated Behavioral Health at Summit Healthcare. “Most patients have two to five follow-up visits that may include cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, education about anxiety and stress management, and information about helpful community resources.”
A Mind-Body Approach to Wellness
Summit Healthcare established the behavioral health consultant program last year in response to its community health improvement plan, which identified behavioral health as an area of need. Placing behavioral health consultants side by side with primary care providers allows them to work as a team to help patients achieve physical and mental wellness.
“We all need support to deal with stress,” Ivy says. “Behavioral health consultants help patients understand there are strategies they can implement in their daily lives to help reduce the effects of stress on their overall well-being. Integrated care, in which primary care providers collaborate with behavioral health consultants and others to support patients’ whole health, is the future of medicine.”